Word of the Week – Sadness

I had to really think about what my word should be for this week. Should I try to find something good to focus on or just be honest about the way I and many others feel about this week. I don’t imagine there is anybody out there who hasn’t felt sadness this week.

The terrible atrocity that befell Manchester on Monday has dominated my thoughts all week. When something like this happens I try to avoid the news but I couldn’t this time. I read about those who had been witness to the horror and saw the faces of those who were murdered and my tears fell and my heart broke. Thinking about how terrifying it must have been for everyone in that stadium is just unbearable. How can we even begin to make sense when there is just no sense to be made.

I’ve also felt sadness at the conversations I’ve overheard. Some people are full of rage, anger and hate. Although I understand the anger I strongly believe that there is no room for racism. You cannot fight hate with hate.

Manchester is my birthplace, I’m Mancunian and I’m proud to be so. The way people helped one another made my sadness lift a little. From the incredible emergency services staff to the people opening their homes and hearts. They all give me hope that the world is good and that we can overcome the evil that people sometimes do.

Words can never express the sadness, despair and hopelessness we all feel. All we can do is hope for a better future and be as kind and loving as we can possibly be to our fellow humans.

The Reading Residence

 

 

 

Harlots, Criminals & A Nursery Letter #LittleLoves

I can’t believe it’s already time to share another little loves post with you. Where is this year going at all !

Daisy has one more week of school to go before the half term holidays. She has two weeks off school, the second of which we will be on our holidays. It will be our first family holiday and we are all very excited.

I’ve started thinking about what we should do in the first week that she is off. I’m hoping the sunshine makes a return so we can get outside lots. I also want us to visit the library something we haven’t done for ages.

Anyway here are my little loves for this week.

Read

The letter confirming Jake’s nursery place arrived this week. I’ve been reading through that and the information that came with it. The nursery is part of the Primary school that Daisy goes to. It feels less daunting this time as I know the teachers and the routine. He will be starting in June and is more than a little excited.

Watched

I finally got round to watching Harlots on ITV Encore. It’s so good, Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville play the leads. It follows the story of a brothel owner in 18th century London and her feud with a rival Madam who is totally ruthless. I do love a gritty period drama. I currently have 2 episodes left to watch and I’m already hoping they make another season.

Heard

This is a strange one to put in as a little love. I love listening to podcasts as I’ve mentioned previously. My cousin told me about one called Casefile True Crime a while ago and I finally got round to listening. I was worried all the stories would be about murder but there not, there’s a good mix of crime. The guy who reads it has a really heavy Australian accent and is a born storyteller. I was on the edge of my seat listening to him tell his criminal tales. I realise true crime is not everyone’s cup of tea but I find it really interesting.

Made

Lists, lists and more lists. I’m going back to basics at the moment with my organisation. First thing in the morning I’ve been writing a to-do list for the day. There’s nothing more satisfying than ticking things off as I go along. It’s certainly helping to keep me motivated.

Wore

I love buying the kids clothes that I would like to wear myself. I got Daisy this tokidoki Unicorno t-shirt from Asda for only £6. She’s been wearing it lots this week.

 

And lastly….

I’m going to Blog On this Sunday so I’ve been busily planning what I want to take with me. I wrote an Icebreaker and have loved reading everyone else’s. It can be quite daunting going to a conference for the first time so it’s nice to feel like you already know a few people. This is my third time and I can’t wait to meet up with the lovely friends I’ve made through blogging. No doubt the experience will feature in next weeks little loves post.

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

 

Word Of The Week – Combination

This week has been such a mixed bag but that’s two words so I’ve chosen combination instead. Most days have been full of little niggles and frustrations and I will admit that it’s made me a bit grumpy. To balance it out there have also been some real highlights too.

I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction so I think that feeling frustrated may have set off a chain of events. I woke up feeling grumpy on Monday morning, I’m still fighting a cold and cough so sleep has been poor.

There have been two large vans blocking the view of the busy road we have to cross on the school run. It’s been bothering me for a few weeks so when I saw the driver inside I took the chance to have a rant at him. I’m usually quite level-headed but frustration and grumpiness do not make for a great combination. I may or may not have told him that he should park his van up his own bottom when he asked me for suggestions of where he should park. He is of course still parking there but I feel better for getting it off my chest.

The same day Chris drove our car val straight in to the neighbours wall. He misjudged the manoeuvre and the results were not pretty. Poor old Val. The wall came away without a scratch.

The day got a little better when for the first time ever Jake climbed in to the dentist chair and opened his mouth wide. You might be wondering why I’m so happy about that. Well, it’s because Jake has been going to the dentist since he was 12 months old and this is the first time it’s been totally stress free. He has never opened his before for them not even for a sticker.

On Tuesday we had an auction ending on Ebay for a rather large expensive item. The proceeds are earmarked for my 40th night away so I really wanted it to sell. I was so disappointed when is fell short of the reserve price and didn’t sell. The disappointment was short-lived though as the highest bidder accepted a second chance offer. It might have been a little less than we wanted but at least it sold. It won’t stop me turning 40 but it will afford me a lovely room for the night to commiserate.

The rest of the week was a little challenging. Jake’s behaviour has improved in leaps and bounds recently which is fantastic. This week however he decided to revert back to throwing tantrums. That of course is perfectly normal but when it’s because he has to hold my hand near a busy road I can’t ignore it.

The week has ended on a high note though as I finally had the phone call I’ve been waiting for. A place at nursery is available for Jake. He should really start in September but our school takes them right from 3 as long as they have spaces. A space has opened up so he can start after the school holidays in June. He is so ready to go and I am so ready for a little break.

So there you have it a real combination of a week. The old saying ‘you have to take the rough with the smooth’ really has applied.

The Reading Residence

 

 

 

 

I’m Going To Blog On Ice Breaker

Blog On is a conference especially for bloggers. It’s held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and I’ve been lucky enough to attend twice now. This year’s conference is almost here so I thought it was time to answer some ice breaker questions.

Although I’ve been twice it’s still a nerve wracking business wondering who’s who and where they blog. Ice breaker questions are a brilliant way to get know fellow attendees and make it all seem a little less daunting. Last year I arrived alone and tweeted to see if anyone would like to meet up. Thankfully they did and I met some lovely people I wouldn’t have otherwise known.

So here goes.

Share a recent picture of you

This is my most recent head shot. I might wear my hair down on the day depending on how it behaves in the morning.

Describe yourself in three words

Honest, Loving and Resourceful.

How long have you been blogging and what made you start?

In June I will have been blogging for 4 years on and off. I originally wanted to share the things I was doing to bring in a little extra income for our family. I soon realised wanted to have somewhere to document our family life and be able to connect with others at the same time. I’m rubbish at making friends in real life but found I could easily connect with people virtually.

What was the inspiration behind your blog name?

I had a YouTube channel called Wonderland Freebies before I started the blog and wanted to keep the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme alive I suppose. I have had some regrets about the name over the years but not any more. I was once asked by a fellow blogger where ‘Websterland’ was I replied “at my house” it gave me a good giggle.

What is the best thing to come from your blog so far?

The best thing is that blogging has pushed me right out of my comfort zone. I’m by nature an introvert and I definitely have hermit tendencies. Blogging has made me get out and meet people and face my social anxieties. It’s given me a voice, confidence and a strength I never knew I had.

Your most remembered thing from your childhood

Without a doubt it’s my Nan’s house. As well as it being my safe place it was full of ornaments and knick knacks. As you can image to a child it was like Aladdin’s cave, there was always something to look at.

Something interesting you might not know about me is . . .

I still have 3 of my baby teeth. My adult teeth never descended and I’ve seen them on several x-rays. Dreading the day they fall out.

Which social media platform best describes your personality and why?

Definitely Twitter because it’s as fast moving and scatty as my brain.

What is your happy song?

It’s a really cheesy one, it’s ‘Feels like I’m in love’ by Kelly Marie. I not usually a dancer but when that tune comes on I can’t help but get up and shake my stuff. The music just makes me feel so happy.

What is your favourite alcoholic drink

I don’t drink that often nowadays but it used to be a ‘Red Witch’ which is a mixture of Pernod, blackcurrant and cider.

What is your favourite cake?

Tough choice, it’s a toss up between Black Forest Gateaux and Bakewell Tart (if they can be classed as cakes).

What is your favourite takeaway dish?

Sweet & Sour chicken with fried rice, that’s so boring isn’t it. Every time I try something different I end up wishing I had ordered that instead.

Where is your dream holiday destination and why?

Hawaii because of the waves, the sky, the ocean, the mountains I could go on and on.

What would your superhero name be?

The Multi-tasking Marvel because I’m shit hot at completing 20 different tasks at once.

If you had a magical power, would you want to have and why?

Mind control, just imagine being able to get your kids to play nice and give you a minutes peace all with the power of thought.

What one weapon would help you survive a zombie apocalypse?

I refuse to answer this one as I’m petrified of the ‘Z’ word.

If you could send something into space, what would it be? 

The Kardashian’s maybe or celery I dislike they both as much as the other.

What would you have on your gravestone?

‘I hope there’s Wi-Fi where I’m going’

You make headline news around the world in 2 years time… but for what reason?

Getting rid of the Kardashian’s by zooming them off into space perhaps ?

If an EMP wiped out all mechanical forms of transport, how would you get to BlogOn?

I don’t live that far from Manchester so I would borrow a push bike and cycle my way there.

I really enjoyed writing that and I can’t wait to meet you all there.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

The lovely Sarah over at Toby goes Bananas tagged me to write about 10 things that make me happy. I love these challenges as they really get your brain juices flowing. Although there are hundreds of things that make me happy when put on the spot my mind tends to go blank. I’ve dug deep and come up with the 10 things that me happiest.

Family

This is such an obvious one to start with isn’t it ? But it’s true my family make me happy. There are days of course when they frustrate the hell out of me. Regardless, knowing I’ve produced four humans all wonderful in their own ways makes me happy. From the family inside our house to the extended family we have, they all make me happy.

Coffee

This one had to come straight after family. Coffee makes me immensely happy, I have no shame I’m a total addict. There is nothing more satisfying to me than a huge cup of hot black coffee.

YouTube

I love nothing more than wasting a few hours watching my favourite channels. It’s great that there is a platform for creative people to share their talents with the world. I also love watching people who are just like me, who I can find something in common with. I’ve learned how to fix a hoover, clean my home more effectively, how to improve my blog and so much more. Seeing that my favourite creators have posted a new video makes me incredibly happy.

Snuggling 

Whether it’s with my big bear of a husband or my wriggly little kids, snuggling makes me happy. I’m most happy when I’m snuggled on the sofa surrounded by lots of cushions with a fleecy blanket over my knee.

Stationery

Happiness is a fresh new notebook and a pen that writes beautifully. I can’t explain why but there is definitely something about stationery that never fails to lift my spirits. I have boxes and drawers full of the stuff, from washi tape to pencil sharpeners and sorting them all out is my idea of bliss.

Binge Watching 

My idea of heaven is watching a whole series, episode after episode with very little break. It makes me happy to know that I don’t have to wait a week to see the next episode of a favourite show especially if there’s a cliffhanger ending. I don’t even want to imagine how many hours I’ve lost to Netflix.

The Ocean

Visiting the coast and listening to the ocean makes me happy. I feel so at peace and so in awe of it’s mightiness at the same time. I would love to live by the ocean at some point in my life. The funny thing is that it also terrifies me, I’m not a great swimmer and have a fear of putting my head underwater.

Chocolate 

Does chocolate not make everyone happy ? I can’t indulge as often nowadays but when I do it makes me very happy. The sweetness, the silkiness, the heavenly taste. I bloody love the stuff. The nicest chocolates I’ve ever tasted were  Ghirardelli squares when I was on holiday in Florida.

Music

I have always had such an eclectic taste in music. My playlists consist of anything from 90’s pop to Indie kids. Listening to music makes me happy, it brings back wonderful memories and stirs emotions. Music also lifts me up when I’m feeling down.

A Clean House 

Yep I’m one of those people who take great satisfaction from a sparkling clean house. Don’t get me wrong there are jobs around the house that I detest doing. But it makes me so happy when everything is in it’s place and there isn’t a speck of dust to be found.

So there you have it, my happy list. I thought of so many more while I was writing. It’s now my turn to tag some other lovely bloggers to share there happy lists too. I’m tagging

Rachel from Coffee, Cake, Kids 

Pippa from A Mother’s Ramblings

Broke Young Couple

Ted Talks, Duplo & A Happy Birthday #LittleLoves

These weekly #LittleLoves posts show me just how scarily fast this year is flying by. This weeks highlight has been celebrating Jake’s third birthday. We had a little party at home for him on Sunday before celebrating his actual birthday on Tuesday.

Apart from that the rest of the week has been a bit rubbish. My health hasn’t been good for a while, and catching a nasty cold hasn’t helped one bit. I finally have a doctors appointment for next week. I’m hoping they can help me get back on top of the diabetes.

When I’m having a bit of a ‘life is a lemon’ week it’s so nice to have a space to write about the little things that have brightened my week.

Read

I’m still no closer to picking up a book or even a magazine. I have got as far as charging my neglected kindle as I have a load of books on there. I say this every time but I do miss reading. Maybe audio books are the way to go for me at the moment.

Watched

I’ve loved spending time watching Ted Talks on YouTube this week. I always turn to Ted Talks when I’m in need of a kick up the bum. There’s some seriously inspiration stuff on there. My favourite this week has been ‘The Magic of Not Giving a F**K’ by Sarah Knight. She puts things perfectly into perspective, something that I’m always striving to do.

Heard

I heard ‘Happy Birthday’ being sung at the little party we had for Jake’s third birthday on Sunday. He chose a big chocolate cake and we topped it with some candles and sang away.

Made

Jake got a Duplo Batman set for his birthday so I had great fun building that for him. I don’t know what it is about Lego and Duplo but I find it so therapeutic to build. I would love to treat myself to a big old Lego set, maybe one for the birthday wish list.

Wore

Sunglasses, it’s been another glorious week of sunshine here in the North West. Apart from shielding my eyes from the brightness, they are also serving to hide my awful eye bags. I’m full of a cold and have a touch of hay fever on top. Coupled with a few sleepless nights those sunglasses are helping me conceal a multitude of sins.

And lastly…

I loved getting everyone together on Sunday to celebrate Jake’s birthday. I only have a small family so it means a lot to me to be able to get them all together. It’s so nice to see the next generation of cousins playing together.

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

 

Word Of The Week – Birthday

This week saw my youngest, Jake turn three. On Sunday we celebrated his birthday a couple of days early with a little party at home. We were so lucky as the weather was beautiful meaning we could take the party outside into the garden.

We don’t have a large family so having them all come together to celebrate with us meant a lot to me. Jake doesn’t have any little friends of his own yet but I’m sure that will change once he starts nursery.

Jake had a wonderful time, playing outside, eating pizza and cake. He even got to open some of his presents early. He was well and truly shattered once everyone went home.

On Monday night Jake went to bed as a two year old for the last time. Tuesday morning came quickly and he couldn’t wait to race downstairs and open his presents. He soon got to work tearing off the wrapping paper and opening his cards. He loved his balance bike and the Batman and Spiderman Duplo we had chosen for him.

After a quick whizz around the living room on his bike he was ready for his birthday breakfast of pancakes. In our house you get to choose a special breakfast on your birthday. I did feel a little sad as Daddy had to work and it was a school day for Daisy so Jake was stuck at home with boring Mummy for the day.

Once home from the school run, we got to work building the Duplo together. The rest of Jake’s birthday was spent playing and he even got to have another birthday cake which made him very happy indeed.

So now he is three and we eagerly await news of an early nursery place. He is more than ready to start his next big adventure.

Birthdays have also been the topic of conversation between Chris and I this week. I turn 40 in November and I’m still undecided as to how I want to celebrate (commiserate). I’ve settled on a night away on my actual birthday and family meal on the Sunday. I’m leaving it up to Chris to book somewhere nice.

The Reading Residence

 

 

Flip Flops, Gritty Police Dramas & Sunshine #LittleLoves

During my little break from blogging I really missed writing my weekly #LittleLoves post. I’m really happy to be back and sharing some of the things that have brightened my week.

This week the weather has been beautiful, we’ve seen lots of blue skies and sunshine. This has meant lots of time in the garden for the kids which always makes them happy. I’m always in a good mood when the sun shines, I hope it lasts into the weekend. We are having a little tea party for Jake, it’s his birthday next week so I thought we would do something on the weekend for him.

Here are some of the things I’ve loved this week.

Read

I not only took a break from blogging I also took a break from reading blogs too. I’ve spent this week catching up with all my favourite bloggers as well as finding new blogs to read too. Here are some of the posts I’ve been loving this week.

Blogging Behind The Scenes-Working With Brands by my good friend Rachel Swirl.

The sound of silence by Plutonium Sox.

Stationery Swap May 2017 by The Reading Residence  . If you love stationery this is a must read, it will be my third time taking part.

Watched 

The final episode of Line of Duty season 4. I was a late comer to this show but I’m so glad I found it. It’s a real edge of your seat, twist and turns type of police drama. I can’t get enough of crime dramas lately if you have any suggestions throw them my way.

Heard

We spent a bit of time in the car over the bank holiday weekend and ended up listening to one of our favourite albums ‘Sigh No More‘ by Mumford & Sons. The night I met my husband he was singing one of their songs at an open mic night. I feel like it’s the soundtrack to the early days of our relationship, soppy I know.

Made 

I think I will always struggle with this part of little loves. Although I’m creative I barely have time to indulge nowadays. I thought I would instead share something that Jake created. He made this Duplo train all by himself one morning this week. It makes me happy that both my children enjoy making, creating and building. I really must make the time to do something creative again.

Wore

Flip Flops ! I can finally say goodbye to socks and wear them. I live in flip flops during the Summer and am reluctant to part with them come Autumn. There’s just something so nice about feeling fresh air and the warm sun on my feet. I bought some Rocket Dog’s, they are super comfy, I would buy them in every colour and style if I could.

 

And lastly…

I loved the bank holiday weekend. Chris was off work all weekend, we got loads done around the house and garden and had some lovely days out with the kids. The kids enjoyed their first ice-cream of the year from a real ice cream van and the weather was perfect. After a rough few months I’m feeling very positive about the rest of the year ahead.

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

 

*This post contains affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I receive a small commission at no cost to you*

 

Word of the Week-Plan

I’ve never been the sort of person to leave things to chance. If I don’t have a plan in place then I flounder. That’s what I feel like I’ve been doing lately, floundering and getting back on track is long overdue.

I don’t know about you but making plans helps me feel in control and also motivated me to be productive. Up until a few months ago I would use my bullet journal for planning. For the moment my bullet journal isn’t working for me so I’ve gone back to a good old reliable notebook.

I’m planning a little party at home for Jake on Sunday. He turns 3 next week and the plans we did have to celebrate have changed. There’s food, cake and balloons to buy.

Planning for our holiday is next on the agenda. It’s our first holiday as a family and although we are not going far it still requires a lot of planning. I want to make sure I’ve thought of everything, especially how to keep the kids occupied on the car journey.

I’m planning what I want the next six months to look like in terms of blogging and working from home. Plans have changed and Jake won’t be starting nursery until September. This means I need to come up with a new strategy for working around him.

I have lots more plans to make but I feel like I’ve made a good start. Now to put those plans into action.

The Reading Residence

 

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For May

I used to post our goals every month straight after Chris and I had our monthly meetings. They really helped to keep us accountable.  The meetings fell by the wayside and in turn so did the posts. We are determined to get back on track and make the second half of this a productive one. Here are our family, frugal and home goals for May.

Family 

  • Celebrate Jake’s 3rd birthday.
  • Continue eating more healthily and getting some exercise.
  • Have at least two family days out.
  • Make a Summer bucket list.
  • Start preparing and packing for holiday.

Frugal

  • Use Ebay to sell the higher value items we have to sell.
  • Look for more online earning opportunities.
  • Line dry as much as possible.
  • Make a meal plan for the month.
  • Look for free local days out and activities.
  • Check balances and get to cashing out points on survey sites.
  • Remember to use the cashback shopping apps.

Home 

  • Weed the gardens and keep on top of mowing the lawn.
  • Deep clean living room.
  • Fix the curtain polls in the kids bedrooms.
  • Depp clean all the window frames.
  • Do a tip run.

I think that’s plenty for us to be getting on with for now. Do you make goals every month ? if you do how do you stay motivated ?